The Rotten Syncretism that Opens the Spirit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


People have always been inclined not to stick with one god alone, not to trust one single religion. One possible conclusion is that history is full of syncretism. Syncretism seems to be disturbing. It disturbs the exclusive relationship between God and his people, and it disturbs the idea of logical purity if things are mixed up in an uncontrolled manner. Two main attitudes towards syncretism are identified. One is to play down and reduce the problem of syncretism. The other is to take up arms against syncretism. The suggestion in this paper is to walk along a third path: be concrete and contextualise and hence sometimes accept, sometimes condemn. The main risk here is that the path is open for anything. I maintain that it is possible to cultivate the human faculty to judge, and that ethics plays a vital role.


External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • syncretism, lived religion, evaluation and judgment, ethics as criterion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-169
JournalSwedish Missiological Themes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Philosophy of Religion (015017073)